Letters to the editor for the week of July 4th 

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Cyclists: use the thing inside your helmet

They say that lightning doesn't strike twice, but I can tell you that cyclists do. My car has been hit twice in the last seven months. The first time I was driving onto Highway 99 from Lorimer Road West on a green light. It was early winter and already dark. Suddenly a cyclist appeared in my headlights, he had crossed against the red light and ridden over the median. He bounced off the side of my car and then hit the hood. He had already done the same thing crossing 99 and the driver ran over to have words with him. He was fine and my car looked fine, traffic was backing up, so we carried on. Next morning, in the light, I did find some damage.

Last Wednesday I was driving up Alpine Way approaching Drifter Way. I always slow down and take a good look here as I have had cars, buses, bikes and skateboarders miss the stop sign, Alpine Way has right of way — no stop sign. I saw a cyclist coming down Drifter at full speed, I had time to stop and that was about it. She didn't even slow down for the stop sign and made a high speed turn down Alpine Way. The cyclist hit my car and went into the windshield. I felt lucky when I heard her speaking even before I could get out of my car. She apologized and even though I insisted, was asking that an ambulance not be called, more worried about dollars than sense. Police, Fire and ambulance attended. I do not know what her final diagnosis was, but her face and hands were obviously injured — head and spinal injuries were assumed at the least.

Next stop ICBC, they arranged to have my car towed to Vancouver, it was not drivable. A neighbour gave me a ride to the city to pick up a rental car. I asked if I would have to pay deductible and the answer was yes. What they did tell me was that they would seek full compensation from the cyclist if the police found her at fault, and pay me back when they had recovered their costs. I am getting the damage repaired from both incidents and have to pay a total of $600. Still I am thankful that both cyclists survived.

This past weekend was busy and I had a near miss, a cyclist decided to use the crosswalk on a red light, just as our light turned green at Blackcomb Way and Lorimer. A truck was in the right lane blocking my view and I was turning left, I barely missed him.

So cyclists slow down and be safe, use a few more pedal strokes and the thing inside your helmet (your brain). If you hit a car or it hits you, either way — you lose. Also if you are from out-of-province, get BC Med., hopefully you won't need it, but you'll have way less hassle and expense if you do.

Thank you Todd, Reidles and Robin for stopping to help on scene as well as RCMP, Whistler Fire and EHS.

Cathy Jewett


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